A bill passed on May 14, 2014 allows for people who have committed low-level crimes to expunge all of their records, allowing for higher chances of qualifying for housing and finding employment.
According to a KMSP news report, a Minnesota Supreme Court decision on the previous version of the law limited judges to wiping out all court records. People who had successfully received an expungement were still turned away from jobs because their criminal records continued to show up on background checks from state agencies, including the Minnesota Department of Human Services and the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension.
The new law allows for a fresh start for Minnesotans with a criminal record by granting judges the authority to expunge all records.
"I would ask Minnesota employers to get past one strike and you're over,” Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said.
The state’s Second Chance Expungement law is the result of a years-long, bipartisan effort involving multiple coalitions, according to a Star Tribune article.
“Look at the person. Get to know them. Take the time to see who this person really is and whether he or she has demonstrated that they’re turning their lives around,” Dayton said. “It’s very destructive to our society that we’re just excluding people pro forma because of something that’s in the distant past.”
The law will go into effect January 1, 2015.
To read more about the expungement bill, visit Gov. Mark Dayton's page.
Gov. Mark Dayton signs the expungement bill into law.